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Old 06-30-2009, 04:37 PM   #1
DPM
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1973 Argosy 20
fayetteville , West Virginia
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I'm officially part of your strange subculture

My wife thinks I am a nut because I have been lurking airforums and other sites for months. My curiosity of vintage trailers quickly turned into an obsession. We own a rock climbing publication www.deadpointmag.com and I decided that a vintage trailer, "badged out" in our magazine's logo was a marketing necessity. I loved the airstream design, but painting one would be a crime, so the Argosy naturally became my trailer choice.
This morning at 4am, my wife and I arrived home with our new restoration project. We purchased Steve Fixx's 73' Argosy http://stephenfixx.blogspot.com/ , and we have big plans for her.
At 8:30 am I woke up struggling from the lack of sleep. After slamming a pot of coffee to clear the cobwebs, we began gutting her interior. We know she has several leaks, and feel the interior vinyl walls will need to be removed in order to find the leaks and repair them. The old vinyl walls are held in with rivets and have several old rivet holes. We are looking to create a very clean finish to the walls, and the old vinyl isn't going to cut it. My question is, where do we find the suitable replacement vinyl? And, are there cleaner options than rivets? Thanks ahead of time for the advice.

Cheers,
Matt
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:26 PM   #2
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Well, hmmm, I always thought we would have to resort to wearing aluminum foil hats to ward off the space aliens before we would become a strange subculture.

I'm not sure what you might find that is/was cleaner than the vinyl clad. I have always been very happy w/the way it cleans up after being out in dusty camp areas. I have seen some restorations where they used aluminum inside. I think they come in sheets that have been sanded or machine rubbed to produce a swirl-like pattern. I've also seen AS trailers with walls covered in a suede type of fabric. If you are replacing w/new vinyl, you might check w/Andy in CA as he carries one of the largest AS trailer replacement parts catalog around. As far as replacement ideas for rivets, you need to be cautious as aluminum can oxidize if it comes in contact w/other metals - and I would think you would need some type of metal object to replace those aluminum rivet holes.

PS: your links are not working.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:22 PM   #3
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Congrats on the new Argosy. Since it is painted you shouldn' need to remove the interior skin to fix any leaks. I would recommend finding a caulking that is close to the color and caulk any place where the pain is cracked, around the windows and up on the awning if there is one.

Good Luck with the project.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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"I'm officially part of your strange subculture"

Well it looks like you're one of us now Matt! So I guess it is your subculture too!

Hey - Shiney Aluminum Welcomes To Ya!
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COArgosy78 View Post
....<snip>....

PS: your links are not working.
The links work if you cut and paste into your browser rather than clicking on them.

Matt...too late for you ...the bug has bit and you are now a official aluminut. Welcome!
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:51 PM   #6
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You should be able to fix the leaks from the outside without removing the interior walls unless you just want to remove the walls. Replace gaskets on windows and doors and vent stack, replace caulk around the windows & doors with Vulcum, use par bond in all the seams, clean and caulk (Vulcum) around all lights. Check for any openings in the wheel wells. I would be very careful when replacing interior walls. They are attached to the ribs with rivets and add to the strength of the monocock construction of the trailer. I believe rivets are your best option.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:47 AM   #7
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1973 Argosy 20
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Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome and the advice. It is a relief to hear we can fix the leaks without removing the interior walls. If we don't remove the walls, can we paint them? What about the plastic end caps of the "Argie"? My wife named her already. I know, real origional. I wanted to name it "The Pill", but since our magazine is read by a lot of young kids, my wife thought a drug reference should be avoided. It does look like a giant Tylenol though.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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You can paint all of it and get a nice smooth finish - key to good result is proper wall prep - http://www.klendesign.com/steamboat/int02.jpg
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:39 PM   #9
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The vinyl panels in our Argosy overlap. Is that normal? Is there a way to get a smoother look? How do I hide old rivet holes?
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:47 AM   #10
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The vinyl panels in our Argosy overlap. Is that normal? Is there a way to get a smoother look? How do I hide old rivet holes?

Yes the overlap is normal. The interior and exterior seams overlap. The overlap provides joint strength, and in the case of the exterior shell it provides a faying surface for sealing purposes. I suppose you could trim the reveal back on the interior skins and make the seam flush, but that would be a lot of work and would probably require skin removal to do it effectively. I've seen some j-molding trims that are designed to fit along the edges of seams similar to those in AS units, but I think they make the seam more obcious (IMHO).

The best way to hide old rivet holes (that I know of) is to fill them with a rivet.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:59 AM   #11
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yeah - the overlap looks ugly when it is not well covered, but good prep will take care of that - nothing you can do about rivets but fill them as suggested above. As you go through this project you've got to keep in mind these things do flex and are supposed to flex so any aesthetics that are too rigid will have problems.

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Old 07-02-2009, 11:57 AM   #12
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I'm not sure, but I would think if you are wanting to fill the old rivet holes in the interior, there would be some kind of filler you could use that when hardened, then could be painted over. What about toothpaste - I understand it can be used on nail holes when repainting walls? I guess you would need to figure out if you are keeping the old vinyl as is, painting over it or replacing entirely before going forward. You could try experimenting w/a rivet hole by putting something in it and seeing what it does. Find one that is not obvious. I have even used permanent markers in places to try to cover scratches - depending on the surface, sometimes they work, sometimes not.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:56 AM   #13
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YES! Another '73

Oh yes you have done it now. We are just about done our '73 22ft restoration. Will post pics soon. My family are all getting into this now!
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:51 PM   #14
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1972 Argosy 20
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Argie

Matt, I have been watching this trailer for a while. I don't know what you paid for it. But it looks very promising. I have an Argosy20 I am working on. It had to be the worst shape possible. I need a lot of parts. One being a shower pan. Other items are holding tanks, vanity, toilet and maybe a refrigerator.
Good luck, I'm sure Argie will provide lots of fun.
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